Bingo as a Fundraiser : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

A proposal was presented in our Official Board meeting for our church to become a member of a group of five (5) charitable organizations (not churches)to sponsor BINGO, not at the church, but at a rented hall.

I am aware of the content of the 2002 AME Discipline, page 89, 4. Stewardship and Finance, 1-8 which states that lotteries, raffles or other games of chance will not be used as a fund raiser. I don't believe that Bingo is an appropriate undertaking for the Church (in spite of its potential as a fund raiser) however others have different leanings.

I would appreciate any comments.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002


Sorry, AME Discipline date should read 2000.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2002

Alfred -

Interesting question. Well, here's my 2 cents on the topic. I understand your concerns about Bingo as an appropriate fundraiser. I do not play bingo for money nor do I have an addiction to lottery tickets. However, is there anything intrinsically different from this "game of chance" and say, Church investment strategies in specualtive stocks, hybrid mutual funds or real estate. Contrary to popular myth, there is no such thing as a "100% safe investment". From a functional perspective they are all "games of chance" since probability and risk permeates all activities. An argument could be made that bingo or playing the slot machines on The Strip in Las Vegas are harmeless activities given the small amount of financial risk involved. The moral problem comes in when the recreational indulgence leads to reckless gambling behavior which not only corrupts the individual but jeapardizes his/her relations with others. QED

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2002

This rule comes to us from John Wesley by way of Richard Allen. It was published in the original Book of Doctrines and Discipline and has been sanctioned by all subsequent sessions of the General Conference thereafter. Although I am not certain of it, I also believe it comes from the original rules of Band Societies(which we often overlook) and theredfore, it is one which may not be amended by legislation.

Methodism teaches that all our sustenance and strength should come from God alone. (my paraphrase). And yes, this applies to both Bingo and the Lottery.

All church property, vessels, and vestments have been set apart as holy and consecrated to God. It matters not whether or not this property lies within the bounds of the immediate sanctuary or worship center. We too ought to be consecrated, holy and dedicated to Him. I must admit that I often fall short, but this in no way excuses the fact that we are called daily to meet this standard without compromise or excuse.

For further study secure a copy of the Doctrine and Discipline of 1817. An online version may be found by clicking this link. First Discipline You might also study the Life of John and Charles Wesley and the "Holy Club" from which Methodism evolved.

Some highlights of how these rules came to be are as follows:

The "METHOD" grew out of an attempt by John Wesley (who became an Anglican Priest) and his brother Charles to establish true holiness in their daily living. They sought to do this not by any preconceived notions of what constituted a holy life, but rather through strict adherence to a code of ethics in their daily devotion, prayer and worship. Hence the derisive term, "Methodist" was applied to the method they employed.

While they were students at Oxford University, the Wesleys met with a few of their friends for daily prayer and devotion. This group came to be known as the "Holy Club". They sought and won the approval of the Bishop of Oxford to spread their method throughout England. When he was a slave, Richard Allen embraced Methodism and remained loyal to Methodism for the rest of his life. Thus, as African Methodists the "Method" still applies.

The Wesleys came briefly to the Colony of Georgia to join Oglethorpe and establish the "Method" in America. You will also recall that Richard Allen was invited to join Bishop Asbury on a mission to the south in order to further plant and establish the "METHOD". However he refused on the grounds that his personal freedom and physical well being would be threatened by traveling as a black man in the south. Allen's Autobiography

There are several volumes of works written on these topics but here is one link to the 22 rules which the Holy Club sought in apply to their daily living. Holy Club

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2002

The last sentence should have read, "the Holy Club sought to apply in their daily living and devotion".

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2002

Moderation questions? read the FAQ